Classical Civilisation A Level

Course Description

If you are interested in the Ancient Greeks and Romans and how they shaped today’s world then this course is for you. Classical Civilisation is the study of the Literature of Greece by the works of Homer and selected Greek Tragedians; that is writers of tragicomedy plays. By the reading and critical appraisal of ancient stories and the ancient world, you will learn about ancient life, Greek myths, society, politics and general beliefs of the time.

Entry Requirements

Students studying four A Levels will be expected to have a minimum of 6 GCSEs at grade 7, 8 or 9 including English Language and Mathematics at grade 6 or above. Students studying three A Levels will be expected to have a minimum of two GCSEs at grade 6 and three GCSEs at grade 4 including English Language and Mathematics at grade 4.

Course Content

Component 1: The World of the Hero
Here you study two texts: selected books of Homer’s ‘Iliad’, which is the story of the Trojan War and is a mixture of fact, legend and myth. Characters include Achilles, Helen of Troy and the gods of Olympus. The second text, Virgil’s Aeneid, tells the story of Aeneas and his travels from Greece to Rome.

Component 2: Culture and the Arts
Here you study three comedy plays by Greek playwrights Sophocles, Euripides and Aristophanes. Also studied are the theatrical, religious, cultural and social contexts of the time. The plays are: ‘Oedipus the King’ ‘Bacchae’, ‘Frogs’. All are lively and enjoyable, and helped to set the conventions for dramatic and narrative literature which we still follow today.

Component 3: Love and Relationships
Love and relationships are key aspects of the literature, thoughts, and ethics of any society. This component offers the opportunity to recognise and relate to the passions, frustrations and delights of love in the ancient world. Some of the poetry of Sappho and Ovid is studied in addition to conceptual ideas.


There are three exams and in all units there is one extract based question and one short essay question.

Enrichment and Work Experience

There is an opportunity to study relevant plays and theatre / cinema visits.

Additional Information

Classical Civilisation links well History, English Literature and Religious Studies.

Future Career Opportunities

This Classical Civilisation course is a pathway to study in higher education and a valuable academic supplement to the study of a wide variety of other disciplines. Indeed, there are few disciplines where evidence of advanced literary skills is not an advantage. Classical Civilisation is viewed by universities particularly and employers as a ‘traditional’ A Level. It combines well with many popular A Levels such as English Literature, Art, Drama, History, Politics, Philosophy, and indeed with any Arts or Humanities’ courses. Classical Civilisation can be studied at degree level either on its own or with other subjects.

Why Study at BSFC?

This is a course new to the College. There will be organised theatre trips to view interpretations of Greek tragedies, cinema trips to see film interpretations of myths and legends, such as ‘Troy’, and museum trips to learn more about ancient civilisations .